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few questions about tapestry


bearsdaycare
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Hi,

We have just started up on tapestry some of our team has questions about summaries/ midways, please if anyone can advise. bear necessities day care nurseryn

*How often do you do reports? termly or 9/12 weeks?

*does it mark the eyfs links off in blocks ?

*Did anyone have to override tracking on their children?

Any information will be great help

Thank you

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Hi and welcome to the forum, at the moment we print summative assessments at the end of each half term but am thinking about changing this to termly, we generate a progress observation at the end of the half term and add band/refinement for each aspect that is based on key person judgement, we found using the statements confused things a bit, I then use the 'latest' assessment in snapshots and print.

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We have been using Tapestry for a while now and learning all the time. Like Mouse said.. the Latest Assessment data seems the best option to find where a child is now up to in comparison to last terms.. and we can clearly see progress this way. The only problem with this is that if a child is only emerging or developing in 30/50 but for some reason a 40/60 emerging statement was selected, this would show the child to be at 40/60 emerging, rather than staying at the 30/50 developing we would expect. I am sure options are available to counteract this, we are yet to experiment and instead we are hoping that staff will secure a child in the 30/50 band, before submitting any 40/60 assessments. Although these can be added for future reference just not submitted at this stage.

 

This isn't the best way and this is something we really now need to find out how to counteract. If anybody can let me know how to achieve this.. it would save me time :)

 

EDIT: I forgot to mention the Development Matters option in Snapshots, is great for key workers to use, to easily identify areas for next steps and to basically see a tracker for each of their key children. it lets us select a full years worth of assessments.. for a particular area of learning in a selection of age bands.. and it will show how many each early learning goal was selected.. thus forming a clear pattern for selecting refinements in each area of learning.

Edited by BroadOaks
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"...and it will show how many each early learning goal was selected.. thus forming a clear pattern for selecting refinements in each area of learning".

Hi,

We really don't recommend using the number of times a statement is observed as an indicator of a child's level of development. For example, if you watch me trying to do a somersault once you will see I have no ability to do that - you can watch me as many times as you like and tick the 'somersault' box a hundred times - I will not become 'secure' just because you have watched me a number of times. Similarly, ticking all the statements in an age band does not make a child secure in that age band - what if you don't see the things described in the statements? What if a child presents their skills and demeanours in ways that are not listed in Development Matters?

I totally disagree with the statement "thus forming a clear pattern for selecting refinements" - if you tick all the statements the child might be emerging in all of them.

If you read Nancy Stewart's article (who co-wrote Development Matters) you will see that she totally rejects the idea of ticking statements. I have linked to the article here.

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Yes, I do understand it is not to be used as a "tick list" however, it is the best "tick list" we can use? How else are we to present accurate data from tapestry? The system is designed to use these Early Learning Goals and refinements to present the data?

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I have read the linked article by Nancy Stewart.. it was very good. What Ofsted require us to present, is a child's progress from when they started until now. We have always used the Dev Matters statements as a guide, however, Tracker Sheets etc, have always been used as a base to present this data. I am unsure how else to present it?

 

Although the early learning goals are specific.. it is up to key workers or other practitioners, to make an assessment from an observation. The only way to choose assessments within Tapestry, is to choose one that is available. Yes, the observation might not of actually covered the specific goal as worded.. but it is still chosen and thus the refinements are based on these goals within the Area of learning.. so then to present data as required.

 

I do understand that each child is unique and will accomplish these "goals" in their own time in their own ways, but Tapestry data can only be outputted in one way, and that is by using the options given.

 

Thank you for making this clear to all.. and I do agree and I should have explained it in more detail.

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Hi Broadoaks,

Why do you feel you need a ticklist at all? Using the age-bands, and if you wish, the refinements, allows you to demonstrate very clearly your children's progress- you really don't need to be ticking statements and then seeing which statements you haven't ticked! This leads to a very closed curriculum offer, I would argue; children need next steps that don't just rely on the next statement in the list. They need next steps to come from all sorts of sources- eg CoEL. I would advise that assessment isn't just about what the child has demonstrated, but about how he or she learns- and you don't need to measure this with any particular scale.

It's really interesting to see what's been happening in KS1 and 2 now the levels have gone; many schools are working really imaginatively now to demonstrate the breadth and depth of learning within each year's curriculum. And the ones I'm most interested in are the ones where they don't assign 'scores' to assessment. We, in early years, are generally really good at observing children and assessing them 'in the moment'; with not a ticklist in sight!

Just to be clear- your comment above isn't correct!

'The only problem with this is that if a child is only emerging or developing in 30/50 but for some reason a 40/60 emerging statement was selected, this would show the child to be at 40/60 emerging, rather than staying at the 30/50 developing we would expect.'

Your assessments for each assessment period are averaged- so making one 40-60 assessment would not show the child to be 40-60 if you have several assessments at 30-50. Lauren explains it much better than me here :1b

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I do understand your comments however, I will try to explain exactly what I mean..

 

We need to show some kind of data that shows a child's progression whilst at a setting. Attainment, what ever we want to cal it.

 

The way I see Tapestry is a tool that allows us to enter data over time, thus to form a result. Hopefully this will be accurate, otherwise it is useless. The same process applies to paper based methods.. Tapestry is just digital and faster.

 

So, with this being said, we only have limited choices to choose from ie, statements, refinements and age bands. I am not saying the child has to do exactly what is written.. but from the observations we make, we can "tick" this particular learning goal and then give each area of learning a refinement as we go along. We then compare this data to future or past data.. using the same method.

 

it is not my method of finding out if a child is achieving goals or how these are inputted into Tapestry that I was referring to.. it is how we use this tool.. Tapestry to show accurate attainment? I think it does this pretty well.. but it is essentially using a tick list approach to show this data right?

Edited by BroadOaks
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Also to comment on the quoted part.. it must be the settings I am using that outputted the data, to show a child who had done very little in 30-50 band and only one thing in 40-60 and resulted in the data showing her to be emerging in 40-60. I am currently changing the settings to test. It is best to secure a child in an earlier age band before moving forward.. thus foundations are in place.

 

I do agree that some elements of the learning goals in different bands cross over etc. and again this is me using the "goals" as a tick list. In my opinion, this the only way Tapestry or any computer based application, can be used to show data.. ie a robot will only do what it is programmed to do.

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I think we need to be clear that the Development Matters statements are not 'early learning goals' or targets, learning intentions, objectives, etc. (The ELGs are for reception teachers to assess children against at the end of the reception year). They are simply examples of the types of behaviours, skills and knowledge that children might demonstrate. Children obviously demonstrate a great deal more than this list of statements! The Development Matters statements were not designed, and we believe should not be used, as a ticklist to show which things children have 'done' and which ones they haven't. They are just guidelines, and children should not be expected to achieve them all.

Far better to look at the wider/deeper learning that a child is demonstrating to you- and then for staff to use their professional judgement to decide whether this it typical for a child of that age. Then, place the child in an age-band and/or refinement. Only then would we advise ticking a statement if it really matches what you've written in your observation. I don't agree with your idea of making sure a child is secure in one age-band before moving on; as you've explained, the age-bands overlap so I think this creates an unnatural restriction on the child's learning. If he/she is demonstrating learning at a higher age-band, it shouldn't matter that he/she hasn't had 'all the statements ticked off' in a lower one. The child is clearly working at the higher age-band (probably at the 'emerging' refinement).

If you carry out your assessments in this way, you will be able to see progress as the child moves through the age-bands and refinements.

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Helen thank you for your comment, it is appreciated and I do understand what you are saying.. although I don't agree entirely.

 

The reason I don't agree with it entirely, is because the Development Matters do contain Early Learning Goals and if this is the guidance that Reception teachers are using to assess a child, and these are the ELG's "expected" then this is surely why we aim to secure children in these Areas of Learning or in particular ELG's? I have said all along it is guidance, but this is the best guidance we have.

 

If we do not secure a child in earlier "expected" Areas of Learning, then it could mean that we miss something that a child is unable to perform OR that they was not given the opportunity, and this could then impact later "expected" goals. This would be less obvious in areas of PSED or Communication rather than Physical and hence, the reason we assess children, is to make sure they don't have any problems in any aspects of their learning or abilities. Yes, it is nice to see if a child is achieving more than expected but I feel it is more important to get a child support for areas they are struggling in. It should become obvious to practitioners if a child is struggling and we shouldn't need to rely on data, but isn't this what Tapestry is for, to help?

 

So now, back to Tapestry and the purpose of this thread. And I do understand your approach from what you have written above however, and like mentioned earlier, it is not always obvious. If the data being inputted into Tapestry is accurate then we can get data out that is useful. It is how this data is collected that is in question here. I was not necessarily questioning this, I was wondering how Tapestry would best display this data.. so it is accurate.

 

As for; restricting a child, by not assessing them before they are secure in the earlier guided age band, yes I agree with this in some ways and to add on to what I mentioned earlier about spotting possible problems, I feel a child will always be strong in certain areas of learning regardless of if we plan to advance them, due to their natural ability to learn when in child led activities or free play.. I don't think they necessarily require pushing. Again, practitioners should realise they are doing better than expected in these areas and support them further in a natural way. Again this might not be as obvious in certain areas.. but I don't feel it is as important as supporting children who are struggling or who might or do require SEN.. this can be argued of course!

 

To summerise and to hopefully get some resolution to this.. Tapestry is amazing but only if it is used correctly. If we are to rely on Practitioners to know each of their children's strengths and weaknesses then I think things could get missed. The only way to get the data into tapestry is for Practitioners to enter it.

 

IF they should be entering the correct Refinement for each area of learning based on their own knowledge. Do we even need to select the Early Leaning Goals?

Edited by BroadOaks
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Ok, thank you very much that is very interesting.

 

I suppose what I need is a tutorial on how to best use Tapestry or some ideas of how other settings use it.. because with it having the ELG's available to choose, each observation, one or a few of these ELG's are selected each time.

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